OHE January 10, 1998

Date: Sat, 10 Jan 1998 09:00:09 -1000
From: "Dayle K. Turner" (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: When answering nature's call...

Yesterday (Fri, 1/9), while hiking on the Aiea Loop Trail, I happened on something that probably occurs quite often up there but usually isn't seen. Well, even though it wasn't my intent, I saw something I wasn't supposed to.

Lesson to hikers: when looking for a trailside location to relieve yourself, choose with care.

Let me set the stage. Yesterday was a beautiful one on Oahu, one begging for a hiker like me to get out and bag a trail. I had a slight backache from a basketball game the night before and didn't want to do anything strenuous to aggravate the injury, but with my vacation winding down to a rapid conclusion and the aforementioned fine weather, I decided to head for my old standby at the top of Aiea Heights Drive.

I arrived at Keaiwa Heiau park about 1:30 and set off soon thereafter, starting at the lower trailhead by the camping area. Passed a few people hiking and mountain biking on the trail, which was in good shape because of the nice weather we've had the past week.

At around 2:30, I arrived at the high point of loop, where the ridge trail starts. I took a break there at a little clearing to the right of the ridge/loop junction. Took in views of Halawa Valley and H-3 below and briefly explored the trail that descends a finger ridge to the valley.

After tooling around for 15 minutes, I hiked back up to the clearing and started making my way back down to the ridge/loop junction. As I pushed through the lantana crowding the side trail, I noticed a couple folks about 25 yards away at the junction. One was hiking up the initial section of the ridge trail just below Pu'u Uau. The second was behind, seemingly hunched over looking at something.

Well, as I moved forward, it became clear that the trailing hiker was a wahine. And she was admiring the view of Halawa Valley...in a squatted position...bare-butt...apparently peeing...oblivious to an unknown, unseen male-person fast approaching.

Now if I were a scoundrel, I would have continued walking right up to this young woman and all of her glory. Or perhaps I'd play the voyeur, enjoying the view of a locale where the sun don't normally shine.

But I'm no cad, so I stopped, of course, thinking that if I continued on and she saw me, she'd belt out a silence-shattering scream and perhaps go tumbling over the hillside in shock/embarrassment. And, being a gentleman, I backtracked to the clearing I had come from till I heard the couple head back to the loop trail and continue on their merry way. As far as I could reckon, she and her male companion never knew I was there.

And when they were out of sight, I continued on my merry way, heading the opposite direction on the loop, wondering if I had ever been happened upon unknowingly while relieving myself while on a hike. Hmmm...

About 40 minutes later I was back at my vehicle in the parking area above the campgrounds. I spent a few minutes wiping the mud from my boots and stretching to try and tweak the lingering needle ache in my lower back.

And who should happen by but the wahine hiker and her male companion. Walked right past me, as a matter of fact. They were a couple of local Japanese kids, early 20s, undoubtedly girlfriend/boyfriend by the way they clasped hands. As they trotted past, I smiled innocently, giving them the typical local style upward head bob/raised eyebrow greeting.

If only they knew. :-)

I suppose when ya gotta go ya gotta go. But chose the place to go wisely, for you never know when or where an intrepid hiker might pop up out of the bush to surprise the living bejeebers out of you.

--DKT


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